Pippa Handley scores a victory in London to Istanbul race

Pippa Handley tasted victory in Istanbul
Pippa Handley tasted victory in Istanbul
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Edinburgh Road Club cyclist Pippa Handley rounded off a gruelling spell in the saddle when she took the honours in the women’s category of the London to Istanbul Transcontinental Road Race after arriving in the Turkish city yesterday afternoon.

It was the 34-year-old Lothians rider’s best performance since representing Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she was 16th in the time trial and 31st in the road race.

Handley set off yesterday morning with victory firmly in her sights, and clinched the title by a substantial margin on the banks of the Bosphorous River, with no other female riders having yet completed the journey.

Handley covered the 2000-mile route in 12 days, travelling at an average speed of 13mph. She had led early on but was overhauled before regaining top spot earlier this week and pulling clear of her rivals in the closing 500 kilometres.

Competitors were permitted to travel by any route provided it passed through three checkpoints along the way, and had to carry all of their essential equipment throughout the ride.